Friday, March 25, 2011

Zander's Castle

It was during a recent visit to the Home & Garden show at the Minneapolis Convention Center that Zander first saw the castle - a large swing/playset on display.  He was in love...  The next weekend we went to the swingset store to pick one out, and were excited to learn it could be installed in time for Zander's birthday!  Pure joy on the faces of both the boys:
Here Zander and Daddy are trying out the glider... whee!
Nana Pat among all of the playsets:
(A very serious) Peek-A-Boo:
Hanging out in the playhouse with Daddy (and Puppy):
Putting his climbing skills to the test... Zander did great!
Action shot - running back to the ladder for another turn:
Cruising... (with some strange lighting effects):
This time riding with Daddy:
So much fun!!  Zander loved playing on the various playsets.  So... we ordered one.  The swinget arrived and was installed on Monday morning - here is where we started:
 Building the base:
 Adding the rock wall - Mommy watching from the deck:
 The castle tent and flags in place:
Later that afternoon, Zander was able to break in the set.  Here he is taking it all in as we descended down the deck stairs:
 Big smile!
 Trying out the Captain's Wheel:
 On the scoop slide:
 Trying out the rings that he can hardly reach:
 Cousins Luke and Brady then came over to help break in the set.  Here is Luke enjoying the tire swing:
 Heather pushing Brady on one of the swings:
 Go Zander!
It was so fun to watch the boys playing together on the castle.  Zander loves trying to keep up with his older cousins.  Here he is mimicking Luke - playing with some big sticks:
The next day, the castle was covered with ~5 inches of snowfall!  So much for the start of spring.  We look forward to watching Zander play on his new castle for years to come - Happy early Birthday Pumpkin!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green is Good!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Zander helped Mommy and Daddy celebrate our Irish heritage today - here he is sporting his green outfit (with one of his beloved apples):
 Yummy apple!  Still a favorite 'anytime' snack...
 A recent milestone - Zander can now climb into his highchair, all by himself!!
Zander had a very special delivery from Cousin Luke and Uncle Bob - homemade green chocolate chip cookies and a shamrock card - how special!   And yummy...
On a day of celebrating with the color green, Zander decided it was the perfect time to share some pics of his favorite green friend... his Froggy pillow chair!  You may remember from our February Showers post that Zander's Froggy chair was an awesome shower gift from Mommy's team at work.  When Zander first came home, the first thing he would do when we went upstairs was to run and either hug or tackle Froggy Chair - so funny to watch!  Here he goes:
Over the months, Zander has found many great ways to have fun with Froggy.  Sometimes Froggy is a good place to read a story:
 Or a good spot to brush his teeth:
 Froggy is the perfect spot to catch up on some phone calls:
 Zander has even learned to share Froggy (at times)!  Here's Cousin Brady testing Froggy out:
 Wow, can Froggy really fit both Cousins!?
 ...Maybe not.  Whoa!
One other fun fact about Froggy... he has a cousin!  Yes, one of Mommy's teammates Courtney really enjoyed meeting Froggy and decided that her sweet puppy Barney would also love to have a big pillow chair.  So here is Barney hanging out with Froggy's cousin... Lamby!! 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Adoption Celebration

Last weekend, our agency hosted a big adoption celebration.  The event was at the University of MN Field House - a large, toddler-friendly facility.  Zander had a fun time exploring the different areas set up for each country, and we enjoyed sampling some ethnic cuisine and connecting with friends we have met throughout the process.    Zander absolutely loved playing the Korean drums - we had to return to the drum area later in the afternoon because once simply wasn't enough - here he is showing off his rhythms:
After a while banging on the drums, he gravitated to a softer implement that almost looked like a feather duster.  Here he is testing it out on one of the percussion instruments:
And, now he seems to be using it as a duster on the Field House floor:
Cleaning the wall...:
...And the track surface:
Yes, even the Korean flag needed some dusting!
Checking out one of the jumpy-houses.  Still haven't tried one yet...
Enjoying the Romanian performance:
Playing with the fun star balloon that he got to bring home:
Running away from Daddy when it was time to put on his coat to go home:
We enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate the joys of adoption with so many others - and are grateful to be working with an agency that sponsors such great events!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Closing out February

Our February 6th post included a Lunar New Year (Seolnal) greeting - we later celebrated at a big New Year's festival at a local school.  Zander especially enjoyed the lion parade:
That same February 6th post mentioned that Zander was finally back to full health following a case of pneumonia... I was wrong!  On Valentine's Day, Zander made it through the school day okay, but had a really rough night.  Again he wasn't himself - not eating, cough, difficulty sleeping, and overall not very happy.  Daddy brought him to the doctor only to learn (via a second, very painful chest x-ray) that Zander still had pneumonia!  The doctor prescribed a more 'harsh' antibiotic treatment this time that was really hard on Zander's system - his stomach was upset, causing very frequent diarrhea and thus a horrendous case of diaper rash that lasted over a week.  Just looking at Zander's raw bottom was painful - poor little guy!!  Here's a pic of the boys napping together during one of the rough days:
So Zander had pneumonia pretty much the whole month of February - he was first diagnosed on 1/30, and finally received the 'all clear' on 3/1.  What a relief to have that month behind us!

Valentine's Day also marked a school milestone for Zander - he moved up from the 'Toddler' room to the 'Early Preschool' room.  He enjoyed being reunited with some friends from the Toddler room, and is benefiting from the additional structure of his new class. 

Zander has recently been showing off his belly a lot:
He thinks it is hilarious and giggles continuously as he shows off.  Daddy sometimes reciprocates (yes, encouraging the behavior, we'll spare you that pic), which Zander thinks is even funnier.  Last week when Daddy picked up Zander at school, the teacher mentioned that now all the kids are going around lifting up their shirts... whoops!

Last weekend we had a fun Mall of America play date with Luke and Brady.  Here are Nana and Heather riding the Diego Bus ride with Luke and Brady:
Zander had a blast steering (or pretending to steer) one of the remote control boats:
 He really enjoyed Legoland - here he and Daddy greeted a Lego Woody:
 Wow, check out the Lego cat!
 Playing at one of the Lego stations:
Zander and Daddy enjoyed a fun Choo-Choo Train ride:
 Heather, Bob, Brady and Luke getting ready to ride the hot air balloon ride:
 Playing with a big Thomas the Train table in one of the stores:
 Luke, Brady, and Uncle Bob on the Ferris wheel:
 It was a fun outing enjoyed by all!